The FINANCIAL -- The annual Ipsos Captains of Industry study finds that at the time of interviewing, 58% of Captains felt that since the referendum the decision to leave the EU has had a negative impact on their business.
A third of Captains (31%) didn’t feel that Brexit had made any difference to the business situation for their company and just 11% feel it has made a positive impact.
Business leaders of the FTSE 500 anticipate a more negative business situation in the next 12 months. Two thirds (66%) feel the business situation of their company will be more negative post Brexit, with only 13% suggesting it will have a positive impact. However, the data suggests that this could improve in the long term, with a third of those interviewed (32%) feeling they would see a positive impact on their business in five years’ time and 45% expected to feel a negative impact.
84% of Captains interviewed agreed/strongly agreed that ‘how well the government actually handles Brexit negotiations is vital to my business’. Although half of those interviewed (50%) disagreed that they were confident in the ability of the government to negotiate the best deal possible for UK businesses with the EU.
Despite ongoing uncertainty, the majority of business leaders (96%) are confident their company can adapt to the consequences of leaving the EU. Over two thirds of Captains have already taken action in response to the Brexit referendum results. 30% of Captains have currently done nothing as a result of the decision to leave the EU. Of those businesses who have started to take action as result of the decision to leave the UK: 14% of Captains mentioned putting contingency plans in place/analysing the impact of different renegotiation outcomes, 10% are moving business outside the UK, 7% are looking at currency changes/stability and a further 7% mentioned providing reassurance to foreign staff.
Captains expressed that the most important things for the UK to obtain during negotiations to leave the EU are: Movement/access of skilled labour (54%), securing free trade/single market (47%), passporting rights (16%), controlled/clarity on immigration (13%), continuing being a trading partner with Europe (9%), tariff agreement (9%).
In order to be successful in a post-Brexit UK, Captains felt the most important factors for business were reducing the level/complexity of regulation (86%) and keeping it easy to recruit EU staff (86%).